Purple wall stands tall on big stage

It has stood strong all year and in the biggest game so far it did it again.

Storm showed why it has been the best defensive team all year by keeping the Broncos scoreless in their 30-nil Preliminary final win at AAMI Park.

Brisbane went into the game boasting the NRL’s second best attack behind Melbourne but the failed to fire a shot as time and time again they were turned away.

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Storm were not exactly clinical with the football but without it they defended like men possessed to earn a spot back in next week’s premiership decider.

“We put a fair bit of pressure on ourselves but I thought we weathered that pressure well,” Craig Bellamy said.

“I thought our defensive effort was as good as we’ve had all year. When you look at that Broncos side there are a lot of different players in there and we kept them to nil.

“Our defensive effort was outstanding. I am really proud of the boys, our execution let us down a little bit in the first half but to be able to put that defensive effort in for 80 minutes was tremendous.”

Bellamy admitted he may as well have stayed in the coaching box at half-time.

By the time he had made it down to the sheds his captain had command of the dressing room.

Cameron Smith pointed to Storm’s inability to control the football and called for a greater level of composure.

He got the response he was after as Melbourne ran in three tries in the final 20 minutes to runaway with the win.

“It was a fairly incredible effort by our team to be up 8-nil at half-time. We lacked a little bit of composure I thought in the first half,” Smith said.

“We started quite well, we had some early ball down their end and looked quite likely at times.

“I wouldn’t say we lost our way at times but we were just a little bit frantic at times. I think that was probably due to being a little bit enthusiastic, we were all pretty keen to get involved in the game tonight.”